More on distilling saltwater

By From page A6 | March 11, 2014

A weird coincidence occurred with Francis Resta’s comment Feb. 27 on my letter of Feb. 21, as Marvin Goldman, a professor emeritus at UC Davis, wrote a commentary on Feb. 27 stating some of what I had written in my letter.

The possible toxic effect that Resta seems concerned about is just the salt that does not distill with the water. After distilling water out, you will have left a highly saline solution that will cause toxic problems if dumped haphazardly.

But that solution can be an asset in sewage operations that discharge to the ocean as the concentrated saline solution can be added in cleaned-up sewage water to kill off germs. This would replace the use of chlorine that is a major source of ozone depletors, as bio-organic chemicals in sewage react with chlorine to form gaseous haloforms.

This solar distilling process also might be applied to sewage or brackish water but a filtering step before distilling probably will be needed. In this operation, some further treatment of the distilled water may be required to remove some distillable organic chemicals that may be present in the organic matter in sewage and brackish water.

James Singmaster III


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